The Harm In Formality

First dates are so formal. If you think about it, you spend three or four hours engaging in some sort of structured activity with another person, nervously and anxiously trying to impress the dude and try to get to know him at the same time.

My question is, how are you supposed to get to know someone when they are putting on a front just like you are in order to impress you? I know i’m guilty of spending an extra half hour making sure my hair has more bounce and shine than usual and that my eye makeup is just slightly darker in attempt to make my eyes that much more alluring, and sucking on breath mints until he arrives.

Then he comes to the door, wearing a just-more-than-casual button-up shirt that he may or may not have ironed beforehand, and wouldn’t be caught dead in on a typical day. You exchange a stiff “hello” and follow him to his car, where, if he is a “gentleman”, he will open the passenger door and wait for you to self-consciously climb inside before jogging around the automobile to climb in through the driver’s side.

I don’t care how much of a “gentleman” your date is, there is no way that he regularly opens the car door for his passengers. It’s just not natural.

As the time passes, slowly at first, but progressively faster, you anxiously and cautiously engage in a conversation in which all you can think about is the kind of person you’re coming across as and anticipating possible conversation-starters just in case, heaven forbid, the current topic of conversation dies out and you both end up sitting across the table in an awkward stupor of speechlessness, and how you only get one first impression and oh gosh now it’s raining and he’s going to see your hair transform¬†into an untamed, frizzy mess and nobody is into an untamed frizzy mess.

Again, I thought the point of dating was to get to know someone and see if they make the cut for a second date, and eventually, a relationship. But it’s really hard to do that when you’re putting on a faker-than-fake persona that you THINK he will like. Let’s be honest, people. You can only hide your crazy for so long.

So there you are, sitting across the table with someone that you can now call an acquaintance, and the conversation is beginning to flow a little more freely. The tension is gradually being lifted and you feel yourself relax. That is, until it’s time to order, but luckily you’ve premeditated appropriate food options in order to avoid getting food on your attire, face, or worse, in between your teeth. And also, it can’t be a hamburger or else he’ll think you’re a total fatty.

Then there’s the matter of how much you should eat. You can’t possibly finish the entire dish in front of a GUY, even though you skipped out on lunch today and can feel your tummy eating itself it’s that hungry. And you better not eat more than he does. And you better not eat too fast, but you can’t take too long and make him wait for you, either.

What’s the big deal? If a guy is gonna treat me to a 12-dollar dinner at my favorite restaurant, you better believe I’m gonna enjoy it. ALL of it.

The date comes to a close, and let’s say hypothetically he does like this fake-o person you improvised, based on your assumptions of what he likes, and you get a second date with this suitor. How long are you going to play the part of the well-mannered, exceedingly polite, normal girl that you were on your first date?¬†And by the way, he’s doing the same thing. Where does the formality stop, and a couple decides to be themselves instead?

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good, well-planned, structured date. But I HATE the pressure that comes with it. All it is is two people putting on a show for one another while out for a night of public entertainment. Maybe I’m the only one with this problem. I just find it immensely difficult to be myself on a date when there is a mutual expectation to behave as a proper, formal person who is just talkative enough to make herself interesting, but doesn’t give too much away, and is instantly intrigued with everything that comes out of her date’s mouth.

I guess everyone’s different, and some people just need some time to break out of their little shells when they’re around new people. But I just wish there weren’t so much pressure to impress people. On dates. In everyday life. Like I said, you can only hide your crazy for so long, and after spending X amount of time with the same person, they’re bound to meet the REAL you. And the faster you can be the REAL you around someone, the faster you can weed out the ones who aren’t going to stick around when they meet you in your entirety.

Can I get an amen?

M.

 

Chivalry

So I went on a date last night with a BABE of a young gentleman. We had a killer good time at my favorite sushi place and then catching a movie afterward. And this one even came to my house to pick me up! (My last “eligible” suitor did not have a car, which is totally fine, except for the fact that the reason he didn’t have a car was because he was living in a sobriety home and failed to mention that in our entire 3 weeks of seeing each other. That’s a story for another day.) Anyway, despite the rain outside, this young man got out of his car and ran all the way around to open the passenger door for me. What a gentleman, right? Right.

I appreciate the gesture, I really do. But really, it would have been faster and more efficient for me to simply jog to the car whilst covering my hair with my jacket (to avoid having a frizzy mane for the rest of the evening) and use one of my four limbs to open the door by myself. It feels awkward to wait for someone to open your door for you, and they always do that little jog before grabbing the handle. It would have been a thousand times faster and easier for everyone if I just did it myself.

I understand that boys are taught from a very young age to respect girls and hold doors open for them, etc. And I totally think that if it’s going to help someone out, or if you’re going through that door anyway, you should hold the door open for a fellow chap. NO MATTER THE GENDER.

It doesn’t have to be a guy’s obligation to hold the door open for a lady. Girls, we can do that, too. I know that this is a minuscule issue, but I find it quite bothersome. It’s a door for heaven’s sake. Pull it open, hold it for the people behind you, and then walk in yourself. That’s the most convenient, swift way to do it.

Y’know what else is annoying? Girls that wait in the car for the guy to walk all the way around and open their door for them just to get out. Really? You can get out of your own car just fine when you’re driving by yourself. The only difference here is that the door is on your opposite side. So help yourself out. You can do it, I promise.

Speaking of doors, don’t you hate it when you’re like ten yards away from a door and some sweetie pie decides to hold the door and wait for you to finally get to it? Now you’re the one doing the awkward, little jog. That’s a separate issue, though.

Anyway, that’s how I feel about that. I appreciate it, guys. Thanks for being courteous. But if it is really that inconvenient and out of your way, don’t worry about it. I can get the door myself. I have two perfectly functioning hands with opposable thumbs. I got it. It doesn’t make you any less respectful of a dude.

That’s all for now.

Happy Friday, darlings.(: